Canadian Native Fastball Championships to Provide Financial Boost
Prince George, B.C. – Baseball diamonds around Prince George will be teeming with players this weekend as the Canadian Native Fastball Championships come to town.
Organizer Chad Ghostkeeper says the first pitch will be thrown at 8 this morning with dozens of teams in various age groups and both genders participating. The games will take place at Freeman and Carrie Jane Gray parks.
“The farthest team we have is from Toronto but we’re getting players from Nova Scotia,” he says. “We’re at 77 teams this year and we had to turn away five teams. It just seems to get bigger and bigger all the time.”
Tourism Prince George CEO Erica Hummel estimates the tournament will bring 1,500 athletes and coaches to town.
“And that’s not their families, their friends, VIPs. That’s four night stays for those folks,” she says.
“So you’re looking at 6,000 nights of visitor nights that we’re going to have in Prince George over the weekend here. We’re expecting the average person, including their hotel, their entertainment and their food will probably spend around $225 each so we’re looking at – if you tally that up just for the teams – you’re looking at about $1.35 million of direct economic impact.”
Ghostkeeper adds the quality of baseball will be good and encourages fans to come out and enjoy the action.
“If you’re not doing anything, if you want to come watch some good ball and eat some food there will be lots of vendors.”
He says admission will be $15 a day or $30 for the weekend and adds the money will help cover tournament expenses and the roughly $70,000 to $80,000 in tournament prize money.
Ghostkeeper expects the finals to take place on Sunday, weather permitting.